El Nido, Palawan: 4D – 3N Itinerary

With more than 7,000 islands comprising the Philippine archipelago, this tropical country holds countless of stunning beaches with pristine waters great for island hopping, snorkeling and diving.

One of the islands that captivated the hearts of its visitors is El Nido, Palawan. Aside from its secret beaches, lagoons, and caves, El Nido also exhibits its unique beauty with astounding limestone seascapes and islets that possess a unique beauty of its own.

How to get there:

Local direct flights are available from most local and international airports across the country. Check exact time schedules and fares with your preferred airline.

AirAsia
Cebu Pacific
Philippine Airlines

The local airport of Palawan is located in Puerto Princesa which is a 5-6 hour drive to El Nido. At the airport, there are shared tour vans waiting for passengers. You can hop on to one of the vans for 600.00– 700.00 per person. There are buses operating in the highway, but infrequently,  also bus rides typically take longer.

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Accommodation:

A fair number of accommodations are randomly spread throughout the town center, however, availability of your preferred room is not guaranteed especially during peak season. (during the summer months of March – May) You can either try your luck and book a room once you get into town or book your hotel reservation in advance online.

el nido house
Picture: lakas ng trip

Agape House Contact Number: 

0927 735 3221

We rented Agape House, which was located along the highway. It’s a 10-15min. walk to the beach front and 5-8 min. walk to local establishments. For 5,000.00 per day, it accommodates 20 people maximum with basic amenities provided. It has 2 air conditioned rooms, 2 toilets, 4 outdoor showers, kitchen and a terrace. This is a recommended place for group travelers.

Food:  

The island’s fresh produce is abundant. For seafood craves, seafood meals cost 250.00 – 500.00 depending on the menu. Several options of grilled meat and international dishes like Mexican, American, European and Chinese. Food prices range from 120.00 – 450.00 again, depending on the menu.  You can find most restaurants on the beach front which is indeed unwinding. Hard liquors and cold drinks can be purchased in some restaurants and bars. Few convenience stores are open 24 hours, but most shops will be closed as early as 8:00 – 9:00 in the evening local time.

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photo: lakwatseraprimera

Squidos-restaurant-el-Nido

Transportation:

Tricycles can be found in most places for 10.00 per trip. For trips outside town, discuss with the driver about fare options. Motorcycles for rent are also available for 500.00 per day.

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photo: out of town

DAY 1 –Touch down Palawan

We landed in Puerto Princesa airport at 4:00PM in the afternoon, had our early dinner and ventured to a long, exhausting trip after leaving the city at 5:00PM. The trip terminated at the town of El Nido past midnight.

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DAY 2 – Tour A and C

The second day was more enlivening though the weather was not cooperating. It was raining and the sun didn’t come out until afternoon. We started our first tour at 8:00AM. It was a combined tour of Tour A and Tour C. The best thing about group travel with friends is that aside from we divided the expenses; we got the boat solely for ourselves.

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The boats are ready.

Tour A

Islands to visit: Pasandigan Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach
Schedule: 8:00AM – 4:00PM
Standard Rate: 1,200 per person
Inclusion: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guide.

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Nat Nat Beach with friends.

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Cadlao Lagoon and my obligatory selfie.

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Cadlao Lagoon without me blocking the view. The water is cool and deep.

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Happy Birthday Aisa at Paraside Beach. The tour provided us with the best lunch ever.

Tour C

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Entrance to the Hidden Beach. Our Kuya guide with his big smile.

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Entrance to the Secret Beach. It looks complicated.

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You need to have protective beach shoes, seriously.

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Rock formations are impressive.

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The Hidden Beach is one of my favorite places in El Nido with its beautiful rock formations around it.

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Matinloc Shrine view from top of a hill.

Islands to visit: Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach and Matinloc Shrine Schedule: 8AM – 4PM
Standard Rate: 1,400 per person
Inclusion: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guide.

Worn out but satisfied, we finished the tour late afternoon. We headed back to our accommodation thereafter. We rented a whole house since we wanted to have our own place to stay as a group. As frugal travelers, we preferred to prepare our own food so the accommodation we got was perfect for a group budget travel.

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Beach front at night.

Our first evening experience was pleasant. We had dinner in one of the restaurants on the beach front and we strolled near town. There was nothing considerately interesting in the town center, it’s really small and there are only a few establishments open during the night. If you like the feel of a provincial life, then you will like El Nido. Random beach parties are announced weeks ahead using flyers and tarpaulins. Although it’s quiet in the evening, live bands and bars situated on the beach front are open until late. If you want to chill with good music, it’s the ideal place.

Day 3 – Tour B and D

We started our day early and excited. Unfortunately, the weather remained upsetting, drizzly and cold most of the day. I was glad Tour B and D were more exhilarating compared to the day prior since we went to impressive coves and exquisite hidden beaches. We had an opportunity to visit a cave which was believed to be a burial ground of the first settlers of El Nido.

Tour D

Islands to visit:  Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Shimitzu Island and Secret Lagoon
Schedule: 8AM – 4AM
Standard Rate:  1,200 per person
Inclusion: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guide

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Aside from swimming, kayak rental for 300.00 per person is available. You can buy fresh buko from boats selling refreshments.

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Shimitzu Island named from a Japanese diver who lost his life here while diving. Sad story.

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Entrance to the Big Lagoon.

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The group! Wanna ask why we were happy? Look at the next picture getting into this place wasn’t easy.

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This is the exit from the Secret Lagoon. The rocks are sharp and dangerous, you can hurt yourself anytime if you are not careful. But getting inside is more difficult, big waves will try to smash you to the cliff.

Tour B

Islands to visit: Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and 7 Commandos
Schedule: 8AM – 4PM
Standard Rate: 1,300 per person
Inclusion: Lunch, mask & snorkel, life vest and guide.

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Pinagbuyutan Island another one of my favorite islands in El Nido.

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During low tide, a snake like island of sand can be found here. Unfortunately, it was high tide when we were there.

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Approaching Entalula.

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Cudugnon Cave believed to be a burial ground of the first settlers of the island.

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Our last stop, 7 Commandos Beach. Weird name isn’t it?

Contact Information:
Tarawis El Nido Island Tours
Corner Calle Amboy,Rizal Street | corner Calle Amboy, Barangay Maligaya, El Nido, Palawan Island 5313, Philippines
Mobile: +63 917 423 8764

The islands of El Nido are genuinely tranquil and unspoiled which makes snorkeling and island hopping perfect activities to do. But for those who fancy a more thrilling game under the water, diving is highly recommended throughout the islands of Palawan.

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Loads of by land outdoor activities can be enjoyed. Moreover, beach hopping, trekking and trail biking are also recommended. Tagged as one of the most beautiful beach in the world as foreign tourists describe it, Nacpan Beach has a must experience sunset.

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Photo: Ernie Bunsato

Nacpan Beach at sunset.

Day 4 – Back to Reality

We traveled back to Puerto Princesa early in the morning to visit some of the city’s tourist attractions. The crocodile farm was interesting. There were different breeds of fresh water crocodiles that are being bred. The old ranch overlooking the city that raised horses and cows has one of the best views of the city. A lively and colorful community of Baker’s Hill that retails delicious delicacies, cakes and other pastries is worth a stop-over. Thinking about the people back home waiting for their souvenirs from your trip? A Pasalubong Center is located in the middle of the city. Affordable souvenirs, delicacies, t-shirts and other items can be bought in wholesale or retail.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. stephenqlam says:

    Awesome post, amazing pictures! Can’t wait to go to Palawan towards the end of this year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, you should. Don’t miss it if you have the chance to go. 😉

      Like

  2. sofeebella says:

    I promised myself to visit El Nido again and try tour A or B.. Your blog reminds me of my vacation last year.. Missn el nido..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should.:)
      I am going back this November to El Nido and to Coron too. When are you going back? 😀

      Like

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